If Subaru’s lifted Outback station wagon doesn’t appeal to you, the brand’s mechanically similar Legacy sedan might do the trick. Like the Outback, the Legacy offers standard all-wheel drive and your choice of either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or a turbocharged 2.4-liter mill, but it forgoes the illusion of ruggedness in favor of traditional family-sedan styling. The Legacy’s cabin is spacious, well-built, and comfortable, but its trunk won’t hold as much as the Outback wagon’s cargo hold. It shares the same marketplace with some of our favorite sedans, including the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, and the Toyota Camry—all of which offer similar practicality, more driving verve, and sharper styling.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
A 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine is standard and makes 182 horsepower. Limited XT and Touring XT models come with a 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter engine. All Legacy models have all-wheel drive and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). We’ve tested both engines now and what a difference a turbo makes: The Touring XT managed to hit 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds while the non-turbo Sport required a lackluster 8.0 seconds. Regardless of which engine is under the hood, the new Legacy boasts slightly improved handling dynamics over the last generation and a similarly compliant ride.